All payouts whether league or tournament are based on the same principles...if the game says "pays 5" places then 5 players will be paid, if it says "pays 20" then 20 players will be paid.
So what happens in the case of a tie?
Let's use the example of a game which pays 5 places and two players tie for 1st place. So we would pay out players at 1st, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. 5 players get paid even though there is no 5th place player!
How are places awarded on a tie?
Simple, we add the prizes which would be allocated to those players and pay it equally to all players in the tie. So using our example above lets say 1st pays $500, 2nd pays $400, 3rd $300, 4th $200 and 5th $100. Our two tied-for-1st place players would get paid $450 each ($500+$450 divided by 2).
In the end all of the prize pool has been distributed and 5 players have taken home prizes.
What about an extreme case of 5 places paid and 5 players tied for first?
Using the same payout in the example above, we would give each of the 5 1st place players $300 each ($500+$400+$300+$200+$100 divided by 5.
We realise that sometimes the players who, using the example above, came in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th places would be upset for being paid nothing. They will see their placement as being "in the prizepool", but the prizepool is really only promising to pay out the top 5 players and we paid out the top 5 players the full prizepool.
The 2nd place player is actually only the 6th best result of the game. Why would the 6th best be paid anything on a game that pays 5 places? We think you will agree that they are out of the prizepool!
We hope that explains everything fully, but feel free to leave any comments or questions below.